Personal branding is very much like a way of marketing yourself to the public. The social media you converse with everyday is basically building your brand and letting the whole world know what you represent, what people can expect, and what core values you have.
If you’re anything like my social media coordinator, you’ve probably been tweeting constantly; been on Facebook a couple times a week, commenting, uploading photos, and posting updates. Before you know it you have been developing an online personal brand all along. Without realizing it you’ve probably been building a personal brand online for yourself with social media over the last couple of years…. Good or bad!
Want to stand out from the crowd? Definitely… but you must stand out with the right personal brand! Read on to see how you can leverage social media to develop a personal brand and land those career advancements opportunities.
Achieving a dominant online presence takes time and work. There are so many social networks available for people to join so selecting the right channels to streamline your efforts is crucial. I’d have to say that Linkedin is definitely the “professional” business social network to be on for job searching, however as I have been interviewing a lot of the up and coming generation, I have used Facebook to see what these interviewees are really like… and oh, what a show!
Facebook started out as being the voice and social network of the youth movement and it has gravitated towards mainstream… so you have more mature people just like me, engaging in the channel with easy access to all public pages… and that shouldn’t be disregarded! Today Facebook is the social channel that many people engage and inadvertently develop a Personal Brand. It’s also a channel that prospective employers or clients verify before going any further with a candidate…. Hence this post!
Personal Branding & Facebook
Facebook has ballooned over the last couple of years, with now over 200 million active users. I can safely state that most mainstream brands are on Facebook, developing their communities, engaging with their various niche target markets, enabling conversation and influencing the people that engage with them and thus broadening their reach and expanding to their friends.
So if brands do it…. why can’t you? Everything brands do on Facebook, including the ability to create a brand page, add multi media, and share resources also allows you to have a unique opportunity to leverage this platform for career success and develop your Personal Brand and voice.
The following three elements below are key when building your personal brand on Facebook. This is slightly skewed towards the up and coming workforce generation, but it really applies to anyone!
# 1. Know your Audience
Know what to share and to whom you share it to. For example: Your boss or potential boss doesn’t want to know that you got hammered last night and were carried home… Facebook users generally link to a wide range of demographic profiles from peers, to seniors. You need to make a conscious decision about which audience you want to connect to on Facebook. Many Facebook users often have two facebook pages. One that is personal and one that is private (more on that later), for the very reason of segmenting what you post to where and who sees it.
Before creating any page or secondary page to develop a personal brand, you should answer the question of the objective of developing a personal brand.
# 2. Privacy
Depending on what your overall goal is for Facebook, you may want your profile set to certain individuals or maybe even have the entire account private. This really all comes down to what you are using it for, whether it is for professional use, or just friends and family etc. You can also have your entire profile public which gives access to anyone who wants to view it. It’s true that if you choose to be “public”, your name will start appearing higher in terms of rankings, however you must weigh the pros and cons and be strategic in how you are going to use Facebook for your personal brand.
# 3. The Difference between Group or Page
Facebook pages and groups are very important when it comes to networking. With a Facebook group you are able to bring people together in your industry where you can share links, photos, industry events etc. This is very beneficial when marketing yourself, your product or service, and your blog.
However most brands that use Facebook set themselves up with a business page or a brand page. Having a Facebook page enables the opportunity of the brand possibly going viral. Another benefit is that the Facebook brand page will rank higher on Google.
So here’s a call to all on Facebook… Do you consciously use it for Personal Branding or is a by-product of what you’ve posted? We’d love to here about your views.